Friday, November 30, 2012

Untouchable Gold

So I walked and walked to figure out how to go to Kinkakuji from Arashiyama. I got lost and lost because I thought Daikakuji was the Japanese translation of the Golden Pavilion. That epic realization came when I was walking around the streets going to Daikakuji... which was 30 minutes of walking according to the tourist information booth. Booooo.

With empty streets and no helpful Japanese people in sight, I had to rely on the bus routes in the handy Kyoto Bus Guide. I was out of the JPY 500 zone, so I was expecting some additional fee riding a bus, but I didn’t have a choice anyway. In that area, waiting for a bus took quite as long as 20-25 minutes - the bus schedules are still posted and still followed in the bus stops. I headed to the transfer point to ride any bus that's going to Kinkakuji.

Kyoto transfer point.

An elderly man sat beside me during the bus ride. He had limited English. He said he will show me the way to Kinkakuji since he was getting off the same stop - he said that in fewer words. We had a nice "chat" during the bus ride. I mean, I was the one talking and talking, I wasn’t sure if he understood me at all. But he looked so interested in what I was saying, so I told him my Japan itinerary and how I really loved Kyoto so far.

I told him I was from the Philippines. He said: “Wow, good English from the Philippines!” =)

He motioned that we were getting off at the stop. I thought that was it. But he walked with me along the path going to the main entrance. For a moment, I panicked. Should I offer to pay for his entrance fee? But it wasn’t gonna be like that. He shook my hand and told me he had a nice time talking to me.  Nahiya ako magpa-picture!

Renovations or tree trimming. I wasn't the only one who was amused by this sight. Someone else also took a photo.

Beautifully disappointing. For the entrance fee of JPY 500, all you can do is take pics of the golden pavilion from a distance. I would’ve wanted to see the grand structure up close.

Kinkakuji. The Golden Pavilion.

It did produce a nice reflection in the lake.

Lots of school kids on a field trip here.

It was very pretty for picture taking purposes. However, the light wasn’t on my side. The best angle yielded shadows.

So walking along the path will bring you somewhat closer to the pavilion.

Still.... nah. I can't say more because it didn't evoke any feelings for me. *shrugs*

The complex closes at 5pm. I would say my highlight of the trip to Kinkakuji was meeting and “talking” to grandpa on the way there. I boarded the bus back to the city center just before 5pm. The bus gets packed during rush hours with students, working people and tourists packed inside. I was lucky I got a seat. The city was more than 30 minutes away, and there were a lot of stops made. I was famished when I got to the city center. 

I didn’t want to overanalyze what I would eat for dinner. It does get tiring to plan and research where to eat. I got off the city center and headed to a well-lit fastfood place. They were serving burgers. Cool. I miss burgers. 

Mos Burger dinner

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